Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Must-Read Book

I am an avid reader. And I read insanely fast. So for me to finish a book in a few days is not exactly out of the ordinary. But the last book I read was definitely out of the ordinary. And I will not say much about it other than you should read it. You really should. I started it one night, and stayed up later than I should have. Woke up the next morning before the alarm clock (and the kids) and dove right back in, then finished it that night. Kept trying to read a snatch or two whenever I had a free moment during the day. I just couldn't stay away from it.

I had heard that there was a lot of media buzz about this book a few months ago, but had not actually heard any of it firsthand. Just remember a few people telling me to read it. And my mom gave me her copy, so now I can pass it on to someone else. Maybe my husband will read it. Or a friend (or two or ten). Read it, and pass it on. I am not even going to tell you the title, so you have to click on the link to see what book it is. And maybe explore the website. Maybe order the book for yourself. Or for a friend. Or two or ten.

Deodorant that actually works!

This past Sunday was, I think, the hottest day so far this summer in the Chicago area. And, of course, the one day this summer that I was actually riding in a horse show. Not just taking students and coaching, but riding two horses. In two classes each. For a total of four rides in four hours. And did I mention that it was 95 degrees? And let's just not talk about the heat index.

As for the horse show, everybody had a blast (isn't that what it is all about?) and we even won some nice ribbons. I came home with a fancy tri-color for high point champion with one of my client's horses. Good stuff!

But the next day, while my brain was starting to recover from the soup-like consistency the previous day's activities had caused, I realized something. Throughout all of the heat, sweat, and general overall nastiness of the day, I honestly never got smelly. Okay, I might have had a more than faint horsey aroma. But at least I was not stinky in the "my deodorant just isn't cutting it" sort of way. Pretty miraculous, if you ask me.

And what deodorant would that be, you wonder? I can honestly say that Degree UltraClear took home the blue ribbon.

I used Lady Speed Stick for years because I liked one of the scents. Then felt like it just wasn't working as well as I expected. I guess your body chemistry, along with everything else, changes after having kids. Then I switched to Dove, and really liked the cucumber melon scent and the fact that it did feel nice on the skin. But it just honestly did not work for me. Or my sister, for that matter! And if you wear perfume for the scent, why wear deodorant for the scent if it doesn't keep you dry and fresh? I prefer my deodorant to prevent less than beautiful smells, not cover them up!

The Degree that I have is just the Pure Clean scent, if you can even call it a scent. And I admit to buying it only because it was in a special multi-pack on sale for a better price than any other name brand. I was really planning to try Secret again (haven't used that since high school), but price per unit was cheaper with the Degree deal. I tried Suave a while back to go the cheaper route, but I'd rather spend the extra bucks to get a product that actually does the job. (Obviously, Suave did not work for me.)

So if you happen to be less than satisfied with your current underarm product, go out and give Degree Ultra Clear a try. Hopefully, it will work as well for you as it does for me. The fact that it won't leave white marks on your clothes is a nice bonus. But I have to say that the best deodorant is the one you don't notice.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Household Hint

Here's a sneaky tip for any of you who have, like me, left flowers a bit too long in a vase...or forgotten to rinse out your water bottle/thermos...or just can't get the coffee stains out of your carafe. it is....DENTURE CLEANER!

It has started getting hotter these last few weeks, so I have been trying to stay hydrated and bring a half-gallon thermos of ice water or tea with me when I go to the barn to teach lessons. Last week, I did drink the whole thermos worth of iced tea. And then left it in the car for days.

Let me tell you, opening that up was NOT pretty. Luckily I had literally drank the last drop, so it was dry at least. But stinky. And with a faint dark haze of something that shall remain nameless but was probably mold. Yummy.

Before I even dove in with a sponge or anything, I dumped four effervescent denture tabs in the thermos and filled it with the hottest water my tap can provide. And a nice minty-fresh scent filled the air while I let the funk marinate.

So a few minutes later I go back to rinse and scrub, and the thing was practically clean already. Just took a quick wipe with a soapy sponge and I was done. I put the lid in a bowl to sit with two tablets and hot water of its own, and while that took a bit of creative scrubbing (baby bottle nipple brushes are useful for more than just baby bottles!), it came clean quickly as well.

I have used the denture tabs to clean vases that got that ring around the collar sort of mark at the water line, to clean pitchers used for iced tea, and to freshen up old glassware. Great to clean up garage sale finds. And you know that the denture cleaner has to be safe to use on items you might eat or drink from since it apparently is safe to soak your teeth in! Let me know if you have any other sneaky uses for handy household stuff...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Healthy Cookies!

Now I have to admit to a certain weakness for cookies. That weakness was greatly increased to something more like a temporary addiction when I was pregnant with my daughter. Preferably something with chocolate, but there are few cookies that I don't like. Fig newtons being one of them. No thanks.

Anyway, the other day while grazing my way through sample day at Whole Foods, I came across a sample table for these new World of Grains cookies. And I bought two boxes, so you can bet they are good.

Here's the crazy part - they are full of whole grains (even flaxseed and quinoa!), they have only 8 grams of sugar and 4 grams of fat per packet, and they still taste great! Each box comes with four easily trasportable little packets, each of which contains about seven little cookies. Seven! And the whole grains help make you feel full, and your brain always gets more satisfied when you eat seven of something instead of one or two!

So I have the oatmeal raisin and the blueberry right now. Next time I'm going to try the chocolate chip and the cranberry. Might just have to throw a pack in the diaper bag when we head out to tumbling class this morning...